December is here, which means it’s time for holiday parties, frenzied last-minute gift purchases, and planning your marketing strategy for 2015. While marketing may sound like the least exciting item mentioned above, don’t be fooled! There are some awesome trends your business can take advantage of that are way more thrilling than watching customers argue over your last gift basket on Christmas Eve.
Here are 5 marketing trends to tap into in 2015 that will help you provide a more meaningful experience for customers—and drive more revenue for your business.
1. Customer-Centric Content
This trend plays into all other marketing trends. Today’s consumers look to brands to provide compelling content that informs, engages, or entertains them. They don’t want to hear your sales pitch 24/7, and they definitely don’t want to be coerced into a purchase based on false advertising.
What does this mean for your small business? It’s more important than ever to create and curate stories, photos, videos, and other content that your audience actually cares about. It’s also important to be transparent about what your business offers and at what price. If you provide valuable content to your followers and clients, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase with you—and continue making purchases with you—than if you simply tell them about your products and services all the time.
2. Mobile-Friendly Campaigns
You probably spend tons of time on your smartphone, and so do your customers—which is why 2015 is primed to be the year of the mobile campaign. Make sure your business’s marketing assets (website, blog, emails, social media profiles, and ads) display well on mobile devices and take advantage of location-based mobile technology.
Relevance is key when it comes to digital marketing in the 21st century. If you send a customer an email about a service they have no interest in, they may start to ignore all of your emails. Targeting your communications and offers to specific customer segments is something consumers have come to expect, even from local businesses. The micro-targeting trend takes targeting one step further by drilling down into very small customer segments to provide the most customized, relevant experience possible. Now is a great time to start using the customer data in your business management software to ensure that your marketing messages resonate with your readers.
4. Social Media Advertising
Social media marketing isn’t new. Neither is social media advertising. But seeing positive returns from social advertising is a recent development. Social networks are now highly sophisticated when it comes to targeting who sees your ads: Facebook’s targeting criteria are extensive, and other networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have invested a lot of development work into building more robust ad serving tools, as well. 2015 will be a great year to experiment with social advertising to see which channel is most effective for driving new business from local consumers in your area.
5. Video Marketing Goes Viral
Businesses have been making and distributing videos online for years. However, in 2015, video is set to take center stage when it comes to content marketing. Social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, are making it easier than ever to share short, engaging videos with your followers. And the number of places you can share videos online is increasing every day. If you have a phone with a decent camera and a few interesting topics to discuss, you can create a variety of videos that will resonate with your audience and boost their online engagement with your business.
The Bottom Line
The trends that will rule small business marketing in 2015 aren’t radically different than today’s marketing practices—but they do involve a greater level of planning and investment from small business owners. Use your downtime in December to assess your marketing program and plan how you’ll invest your marketing hours and dollars in the new year.
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